10,000 Days of Thunder

“In this truly multifaceted presentation of the conflict, both on the front lines and on the homefront, Caputo has produced what is at once an overview and a sensitive, resonant picture of the war as seen and experienced by American soldiers, the Viet Cong, North Vietnamese guerrillas, and the citizens of both South Vietnam and the United States.” —School Library Journal

It was the war that lasted ten thousand days. The war that inspired scores of songs. The war that sparked dozens of riots. And in this stirring chronicle, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Philip Caputo writes about our country’s most controversial war—the Vietnam War—for young readers. From the first stirrings of unrest in Vietnam under French colonial rule, to American intervention, to the battle at Hamburger Hill, to the Tet Offensive, to the fall of Saigon, 10,000 Days of Thunder explores the war that changed the lives of a generation of Americans and that still reverberates with us today.

Included within 10,000 Days of Thunder are personal anecdotes from soldiers and civilians, as well as profiles and accounts of the actions of many historical luminaries, both American and Vietnamese, involved in the Vietnam War, such as Richard M. Nixon, General William C. Westmoreland, Ho Chi Minh, Joe Galloway, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson, and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Caputo also explores the rise of Communism in Vietnam, the roles that women played on the battlefield, the antiwar movement at home, the participation of Vietnamese villagers in the war, as well as the far-reaching impact of the war’s aftermath.

Caputo’s dynamic narrative is highlighted by stunning photographs and key campaign and battlefield maps, making 10,000 Days of Thunder THE consummate book on the Vietnam War for kids.

Praise

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5 Up • In this truly multifaceted presentation of the conflict, both on the front lines and on the homefront, Caputo has produced what is at once an overview and a sensitive, resonant picture of the war as seen and experienced by American soldiers, the Viet Cong, North Vietnamese guerrillas, and the citizens of both South Vietnam and the United States. Covering the period from the rise of Bolshevism in Russia in the early 20th century to the American normalization of relations with Vietnam in 1995, it’s an ideal source for both information and understanding. Beginning with an affecting introduction, the author then gives a history of communism and the origins of the war. Following this, the American involvement in Vietnam is traced in numerous two- to four-page sections dealing with various aspects of the conflict, such as the Viet Cong, the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the DMZ, and the draft. Each section has a quick facts box that highlights the main issues surrounding each topic. Caputo’s prose is clear and direct, and the award-winning photos, both black and white and color, add an immediacy that sets this title apart from more conventional treatments. The glossary is detailed and informative, and the bibliography is a veritable gold mine of sound sources. This is the book of choice for libraries serving today’s students.

Buy the book

10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War

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Comments (9)

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  1. Jeff Whisnant says:

    There is a photo in your book that looks exactly like my father. My uncle found the photo and sent a copy of it to my brother and I. Even my wife asked if that was him when she saw it. It was shocking to see the resemblance and I was wondering if there was any way to find out if it is actually him.

  2. Víctor says:

    Hello gentlemen, this book was translated into spanish? Im from spain.
    At this time i am reading a rumor of war. It seems to me a book spectacular. Not only details the war in a real way, but also makes you travel to a multitude of situations and landscapes. Forgive me, my English is not very good. Many thanks for your help. Best regards, Victor. S

    • Your English is better than my child-like Spanish. I’m afraid 10,000 Days of Thunder has not been translated into any foreign language, including Spanish. It was written as a textbook for Middle School (ages 11-14) students in the United States.

      • Víctor says:

        Mr. Caputo.
        In the first place, to thank him for the speed and the annoyance he has taken in answering me. It is a pity that I can not enjoy this book in Spanish, even though I think it well, maybe it will be useful for me to practice English. My most sincere congratulations on your books, they are light and very comfortable to read.
        Receive a cordial greeting.

  3. Sandip LeeAnne Wilson says:

    The book is a great companion book to go along with Vietnam: A History of the War by Russell Freedman (2016). It too is a great book for classroom use and presents considerable history of the Vietnamese people, who became part of North Vietnam.

  4. Marc Anderson says:

    I am a teacher and social studies chairperson at Norhtern High School, in Dillsburg, PA. We are offering a new Vietnam Survey course this upcoming school year and are trying to purchase a classroom set of 10,000 Days of Thunder (20-40). However, our district office is having trouble finding this many for sale. Our curriculum admin asst. continues to purchase copies from multiple sites only to have the order canceled. Can you help us?

    Marc Anderson
    manderson@nycsd.k12.pa.us

    • Mr. Anderson: It is indeed a shame that you were unable to obtain copies of the book for your course. “10,000 Days of Thunder” was written for what it is known in the publishing trade as a “jobber,” that is, someone who contracts to supply a book, authored by someone else, for a publisher. In this case, the publisher was Simon&Schuster. To be brief, both my agent and I had little to no control over the book’s fate, it was all in other hands. I can only offer my apologies, and my regrets.

      Best Regards, Philip Caputo.

  5. Aloha philip!

    My name is Karen Eckert, and I (along with my friends) would like to ask you some questions, though my friend Shae tried to e-mailed you, and it might have failed, so I will try to be succesful. 🙂
    sincerely, Karen Eckert, Shae’Lynn Abran and Dru Hong

  6. This book is great! I am reading it right now. I would like to talk to you about it for my essay, I am twelve and get on the computer a lot so please reply.

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